I like to use variety in training. Not aimless variety like CrossFit – but custom variety based on a client’s needs, strengths and weaknesses. Whether it’s using ropes, kettlebells, Olympic Lifts, the heavy punching bag, plyometrics, the foam roller, powerlifting movements (right, Mary Lou?), circuit training or Yoga, everything has a time and a place.
I’m working toward setting a world record at my bodyweight on the bench press. Yesterday, I inched a bit further, surpassing my former one rep max by a few pounds. My next goal is 600 at a weight of under 245lbs. My long term goal? I want to bench press 720lbs. I’m now well into the 500s!
Right after I nailed my new personal best, I was really curious to see if I could decline bench press 315 20 times. No rhyme or reason – I was somewhat exhausted, almost seeing little birds fly around my head (hey, bench pressing more than a quarter of a ton is hard work). So, I decided to try it:
Didn’t even struggle, even though my foot had fallen completely asleep by rep number fifteen. haha Funny thing? My training is very streamlined and based on percentages and each movement is planned based on what needs to be improved. I was just being spontaneous. Why not?
Just another way to push it! Making the body do things that it normally does not do is key to forcing your body to adapt and change – it is the most basic mechanism that Mother Nature has given us.
No matter what it is, find your “other gear”. Don’t fall into redundancy and never allow yourself to fall into a comfort zone. I routinely force my clients to do things that I KNOW they can do, yet I also know they doubt that they can do it. Last week, when Mary dead lifted 205lbs (at 125lbs of bodyweight), she couldn’t believe that she was able to do it:
Funny thing? Her goal is to become more lean and defined. Most trainers would allow their clients to continue to believe that performing this exercise would make them big and bulky and hulking, yet that is the furthest thing from the truth: it is the most essential exercise ever (I mean, lifting something from the ground is as basic as it gets) and it does wonders for the core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the rest of the body.
How are you stepping outside YOUR comfort zone? Is it 3 more reps? 10 more pounds? 500 more feet? Find your threshold and blast through it!
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